Bloganuary is a series of WordPress blogging prompts, one for each day of January. Today I am writing on the subject of something I learned recently.
Brittanica updated this article on the fifth of this month.
In 1989 a flood of fights contrary to socialist rule ejected in eastern Europe.
This episode set off the Velvet Upset, which acquired specific strength in the country’s modern places. Under the improvised authority of Václav Havel, a dissenter playwright and coauthor of Sanction 77 (1977), the City Gathering organized shows and strikes that demanded that public authorities acknowledge the common liberties outlined in the Helsinki Accords of 1975.
Havel was chosen for the post of interim president on December 29, 1989, and he was reappointed to the administration in July 1990. He became the country’s most memorable non-communist leader after 1948.
That kind of dissent is impressive if you learn about it in a light that it reflects positively on values you already celebrate.
What I learned further about freedom is something far more distressing, and it is only in that I think of ambition that the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, could make known to people far and wide that the site Twitter held hopes for free speech to flourish.
Musk then paid $44 billion for it.
According to estimates, Musk lost $200 billion when the trust he built with the shareholders of Tesla Corporation and the value of Twitter stock tumbled together. As Musk eventually proved he was not the brilliant innovator he was initially thought to be, his stock soared when Musk made the acquisition and then began to fall.
Initially, Musk seemed to be having a midlife crisis because he acted with such disregard for convention and good sense. As Musk’s political views changed, he ceased to advocate free speech but was apparently trapped in a right-wing quagmire, in which he demonstrated the need for extreme measures in doing business as a social media company, including firing most of its employees and adjusting the system quickly in response to the extensive losses he was suffering.
Musk was acting as a boss would, trying to make a service profitable. As time passed, Musk’s claim that Twitter would usher in a renaissance era of free speech seemed increasingly shallow. Nothing of the kind emerged in the wake of Musk’s bizarre tactics to make Twitter profitable.
Despite being discussed quite a bit already, I am not surprised that there were so many impersonators flooding Twitter with tweets that were nearly as convincing as real companies with a presence on Twitter actually held with the social media company when for the first few hours your account could be verified with a checkmark for a few dollars. Although Musk may have believed that he was acting in the name of free speech at that time, the fact that free speech lends itself to parody taught me a great deal about human nature.
When I thought of the free speech conundrum, I thought of the Velvet Revolution, I thought of 1984, I thought of Apocalypse Now, but here was near-incontrovertible proof that free speech is not a simple temperament.
Free speech is likely regarded among many with such cynicism that an effort to grant it, to create liberty, is met with glee, low moral standing, and even evil. Musk may not have intended it, but I believe he is aware that this is the result of the right to free speech. This right must be carefully considered and guarded.